We sat at my kitchen table with coffee instead of ice cream, an awkward silence stretching between us.
I cleared my throat and she looked up from the cup. “You could have eaten it. The ice cream.”
“Oh.” She shook her head, her eyes caught on mine for an instant then she was looking down again as a flush rose on her cheeks. “No, I couldn’t. It’s your favourite.”
It was, because we’d shared a carton one hot night. We’d only been dating a couple of weeks and Sienna hadn’t been at the show that night but I’d sent her a good night text afterwards. Her response had come in quickly and I’d given in to temptation and called her.
“You’re up late,” I said, wanting her to invite me over. “Watching a movie?”
“Not really. It’s just so hot.” She sighed and my mind went straight to the gutter, picturing her hot and sweaty for reasons other than the weather.
“I could bring you ice cream,” I offered hopefully.
“You could,” she teased back and I jammed my cell between my head and my shoulder so I could pull on my seatbelt.
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”
She greeted me in shorts and a tank top that teased me with so much bare skin I was glad I was leaning against the doorway. I held up a brown bag and grinned, “Ice cream as promised.”
“My hero,” she said with a little laugh and beckoned me in.
We’d ended up on her couch eating from the carton with duelling spoons until the sweet treat melted and dripped onto her chest. Ice cream had never tasted so good.
Her voice brought me crashing back to the present.
“Nick, you need to stop all this.”
I blinked, the memory fading even as my body reacted to the thoughts.
“Stop what?” I asked feeling a little guilty. Had she read my mind?
“The letters, the gifts. Just … please stop.”
She sounded tired and my smile faded as I looked at her, taking in the shadows under her eyes, the gauntness of her face. She hadn’t looked like this, was it only a week ago? Had I done this to her?
“I’m sorry.” I was apologising for everything. I reached over and brushed my fingers against the back of here hand because I couldn’t be this close to her and not touch her. “Sienna -”
She jerked her hand away and lifted her eyes to mine and I was caught by her fierceness. “I don’t get it Nick, don’t get why you’re doing this.”
Because I love you, I thought. But this could not be the moment that I told her that. Instead I said,” Because I’m sorry and I want to make it up to you.”
She laughed. Not her sweet laugh, a harsh one, one of disbelief. “Too little too late Nick.” She shook her head. You just need to leave it, leave me alone.”
“Baby please.” I wasn’t too proud to beg. “I know I fucked up. I know I was an idiot. Wont you please, give me another chance?”
She stared at me, confusion and pain in her eyes and I hated myself a little bit more for putting it there.
“I don’t get it Nick. You threw me, threw us away. Now you can have anyone you want, just walk outside I’m sure you’ll get an offer. You know what they say, there’s plenty of other fish in the sea.”
Well call me fucking Ahab because there might be a lot of fish out there but there was only one Moby Dick.
“I don’t want anyone else Sienna.” I reached for her hand again and she jerked away and rose to her feet. Frustration and hurt at her continued rejection rose inside me, a tidal wave of feelings sucking me under and I just reacted. Before I knew what I was doing I was around the table, my hands sunk into her hair as I tasted her lips for the first time in forever.
A heartbeat later I was staring at her from a foot away as she stared back at me, her hand over her mouth.
“Nick.” She shook her head, reached a hand towards me and I stood still as she cupped my cheek, no doubt covering the hand print she’d left there. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.
I couldn’t decipher the look in her eyes and before I could speak she was stepping away, taking away her touch, her scent.
“I have to go.”
I followed her to my front door, reached by her to open the door and resisted the urge to grab her, keep her here.
“Good bye Nick,” she said without looking at me but I heard the finality in her voice.
No chance baby. “See you soon Sienna.”
I guess she heard the determination in my voice, the warning, as she went still then slowly looked up at me. I let her see it all, let her see I wasn’t giving up. It hurt me when her shoulders slumped and she sighed deeply. I waited for her to refute my claim, tell me goodbye again, but she didn’t.
As she climbed into her car and drove away from me I clung to that fact, to the way she’d responded to me, her mouth opening under mine before she’d pulled away and slapped me, and the way she’d looked at me when I’d turned up at her place. She wasn’t immune to me, and I wasn’t against using our chemistry against her to get my way.